An important shared decision-making message in NYT story on breast imaging radiation risks

This is a very important story.

“Unfortunately,” as a Mayo Clinic physician says in the story, “this is something that isn’t well understood, not just by the public – but by physicians who order the tests.”

Special focus was placed on the nuclear technologies of breast-specific gamma imaging and positron emission mammography. The story says a single exam with one of these tests “exposes patients to a risk of radiation-induced cancer that is comparable to the risk from an entire lifetime of yearly mammograms starting at 40.”

And the story goes on to discuss a concern that these tests will “become more widespread and casual…now being considered and even being used in some cases as screening tests, and this is not appropriate” – according to the Mayo physician quoted.

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